Ritchie sets his sights on 700


Ritchie Humphreys aims to play on for two more years – to safeguard his position as PFA chairman.

The Chesterfield and former Sheffield Wednesday veteran, who recently reached 600 league games, knows he must reach more milestones if he is to make a meaningful impact in the role.

Humphreys, 36, has to slog on as only current performers can occupy the chairman’s office in the players’ union.

“I’d like to have a long-term input,” he told me.

“And I’d like to think I could carry on for a couple of years.”

It means he’ll have to earn another deal with Chesterfield, or elsewhere, to replace his current contract which expires next summer.

“You don’t get longer than one or two years these days,” added the versatile veteran.

“There are some really good players who are without a club. I know about that because, through the PFA, I’m trying to help them as much as possible. So I’m not taking anything for granted.

“I’d have more than settled for 600 games when my career started. If somebody had given me that figure I’d have been absolutely delighted.

“My next target is 700 all told, including cups.”

He’s close. Ritchie made his 686th appearance to help the Spireites back to the top of League Two on Tuesday.

“I want to keep going as long as possible,” he added.

“But I know there’ll be a point when either my body won’t let me or the manager won’t pick me.

“It’s generally one or the other!

“But I love my job and I’m living the moment. I’m a lot busier with all the phone calls and meetings but the PFA job could help prolong my career.

“I’ve still got so much enthusiasm and enjoy being part of a dressing room.”